Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Robyn goes to Juneau

We had an awesome visit with niece Robyn at the end of May. It was a busy weekend with hiking, eating, sightseeing, shopping…a bit of everything. Here Tim and Robyn look at the view from one of the foot bridges along the Dupont Trail.

A visit to the Mendenhall Glacier provided lots of entertainment. There were about 4 cruise ships in town so there was lots of activity. Its is always interesting what tourists find intriguing. We watched an older asian couple who were fascinated with the dogpoop bag dispensers.

We didn't see any glacier calving but there were many icebergs in the lake.

Nuggest falls was flowing with winter melt-off water:

We had a brilliant day-hike to the boy scout beach for our June coast survey. The weather was awesome. Unfortunately we planned our hike when the tide was really low so there was a lot of beach to cover. But it has such a nice day that we didn't seem to mind. I will admit that I insisted we should take a short cut since the tide was so low. This resulted in having to jump over a little crevass where I immediately turned my ankle. After a couple of minutes I was able to continue on the hike. It didn't really bother me until we got home. Its been a little tender since then.

and here is what they were looking at:

And what overnight stay at the Olson's would be completed without a picture with Cappy!

Thank you Robyn for your visit!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

This and That again again and again

Dairy-Free, Sugar Free RAW Chocolate recipe - this sounds delicious!

And this was delicious! I thought we'd try out something different with some red chard this week. I normally steam the chard with some garlic and black pepper and maybe some onion slices. Then before serving drench it with rice wine vinegar. We like the taste and its easy. But we had that flavor last week so I wanted to try something a bit different: Red Chard and Caramelized Onions. The blend of brown sugar and sweet onions combined with the salty from the olives and the tartness of the lemon juice and caper - lovely explosion in the mouth! I would suggest slicing in the olives in half so they mix better with the onion slices and chopped chard.

When I was in Fairbanks in May I stopped by the Georgeson Botanical Garden to see how the Ohlsen Family Garden spot was taking shape. It looks like they might be starting work on the upper part where they wanted to turn it into a sort of outdoor patio with pavers and moveable raised beds. Our request was to incorporate some diamon willow benches or trellis' or something. Its a multi-year project but it looks like they might be starting the first phase.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Around the Americas Cruise

But not by the typical route - This sailing vessel is going through the northwest passage! Sailing experts Terry and Jim, accompanied me on a tour of this beautiful yacht during a stop-over in Juneau. I think they actually thought they should come along with me to make sure I didn't get my feet tangled in the rope (I mean line) and tumble to the sea. Or maybe they wanted me along so that I could rat them out if they actually tried to stowaway.

This crew is traveling around north and south america in the next year promoting ocean health. It seems like they are providing all kinds of information that could be used in a classroom. Plus each of the crew seems to be keeping their own blogs and sharing pictures. They are on facebook, twitter, youtube, and flickr. Check them out at: http://www.aroundtheamericas.org/

Monday, June 22, 2009

White Nights Festival

Tim and I stopped by the 2nd annual Russian Festival that was held this weekend downtown. I read about it in the Empire last year but never made it so I was happy to see that they were having another event this summer. I wanted to see the New Archangel Dancers on my last two visits to Sitka but never had the opportunity. So this was a bonus because we also had the opportunity to see some other dance groups as well as a few small groups perform and/or sing some Russian folk tunes. Due to a longer than expected walk at the airport dike, we arrived a bit late but we did watch the Kodiak Russian Players (a 5-piece group with accordion, a several Balalaikas, and vocals. We watched the New Archangel Dancers perform about 5 dances and pianists Svetlana Velichko and her great niece, Elena Smirnova perform together and separately. I just love to watch 4 hands on a piano. I purchased a music book for 4-handed piano and Connie and I used to play when we were in high schoool. Most of the songs in it were too hard though, so we got bored after only being able to play one or two pieces.

I wasn't sure why they called it the White Nights Festival, but wikipedia told that that there is an annual arts festival in St Petersburg around solstice which showcases music and dancing. Solstice isn't celebrated the same down here in the southeast as they celebrate in the interior. It gets dark here! But the Russian influence is definitely more recognizable down here in the southeast, especially in Sitka.

Someone needs to wash the windows!

Our neighbor was cutting fish so we had a large contingent of eagles hanging around the house waiting for scraps. I think we had about 10 of various ages flying around at one point. This one watched from the deck for quite awhile.